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Sinterklaas rides again: Dutch Saint Nick visits Canarsie on horseback for museum’s holiday bash - Brooklyn Paper

Sinterklaas rides again: Dutch Saint Nick visits Canarsie on horseback for museum’s holiday bash

Story time: St. Nick reads a children’s book, “The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale,” to kiddies at the Sinterklaas event at the Wyckoff House Museum in Canarsie on Dec. 1.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It’s a beloved holiday tradition, borrowed from the Dutch!

Brooklynites flocked to Canarsie’s Wyckoff House Museum on Saturday for the historical home’s annual Saint Nicholas Day bash, which organizers said honors the patron saint of children known as “Sinterklaas” to the Dutch, and celebrates the holiday traditions of Kings County’s early Dutch settlers.

“It gives people a taste of wider cultural influences,” said Melissa Branfman, the museum’s executive director.

Some 150 locals came out for the festivities, which the hosts based off of Christmas pastimes enjoyed by 17th-century Dutch immigrants to the borough, Branfman said.

Activities included crooning traditional old-timey holiday tunes with colonial balladeer Linda Russell, decorating traditional Dutch clogs called klompen, and snacking on Dutch donuts, known as oliebollen.

But the real fun began when Sinterklaas rode in on horseback, after which, youngsters got to feed carrots and hay to his trusty horse Schimmel.

And after the man of the hour stowed his steed, he read the kids a book about himself called “The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale,” before posing for pictures with them, and then letting the tots sign their names on the naughty and nice lists he keeps in his “red book.” (Spoiler alert: they all signed the “nice” list.)

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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